In total Spanish ships have illegally entered the waters of British Gibraltar 294 times since 2009, of these 178 have been in the last year a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

The entries into the waters prompted 42 complaints to Spanish authorities in Madrid in the last 4 years.

The Telegraph report:

Figures released following Freedom of Information (FoI) requests by the Press Association show the number of unlawful incursions into British Gibraltar waters between November 2011 and the end of October this year was far higher than in previous years, coinciding with a dispute over fishing rights in the region.

Tory MP Andrew Rosindell, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group for the Overseas Territories, said it was time for the Government to step up the Royal Navy’s presence in the waters around Gibraltar and to adopt a more assertive stance with the Spanish.

“These figures show it is a growing problem,” he said. “The Spanish are getting bolder and bolder in entering British sovereign waters. It’s another way for them to try to assert their sovereignty claim, which obviously we completely oppose and challenge.

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I am a journalist and author. I am a staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.